Bitcoin is "catalyst for change", says appointed to head SEC

Charlie Taylor

Gary Gensler, appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), told the Senate Banking Committee that he would promote innovation in the cryptocurrency market during his March 2 inaugural confirmation hearing. He described Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as "a catalyst for change".

I think, while teaching at MIT on these issues, that these innovations have been a catalyst for change. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies brought a new way of thinking about payments and financial inclusion, but they also raised new investor protection issues … If confirmed by the SEC, I will work to promote innovation.

At the same time, he emphasizes that it is important to update the SEC's market surveillance for changes:

It is always important to update our view of the market for new technologies … It is important to remain true to our investor protection principles.

Gensler also mentioned the need to provide regulatory clarity, even if it is negative, when asked about questions raised by Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, a well-known bitcoin supporter.

I really think that technology and markets change and evolve constantly. Even if it is negative, it is important to provide (clarity).

Unsurprisingly, the nominee displayed a deep appreciation for blockchain technology:

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This (blockchain technology) is already doing some things right. Central banks are really looking at how to provide more inclusive payment tokens. Blockchain technology is a shared accounting system and this has led to some reflections on trade. I'm not a maximalist, but I really think it will be a catalyst for change.

Read more: Brazilian bitcoin market grows 9 times in February as real collapses

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